Molly Carr to Be New JSQ Violist

Tuesday, May 10, 2022
Juilliard Journal
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Headshot of the Juilliard String Quartet members
The Juilliard String Quartet: Astrid Schween, Molly Carr, Ronald Copes, and Areta Zhulla

Alumna to join JSQ

The Juilliard String Quartet has announced that alumna Molly Carr would become its violist. Carr fills the position of Roger Tapping, who died earlier this season.

“Molly is a perfect fit as she embodies the values of the Juilliard String Quartet and the school in her work as a brilliant performer, experienced and dedicated teacher, and committed artist citizen,” said Adam Meyer (MM ’04, viola), Juilliard’s provost. “This appointment would have made Roger proud, and we are delighted to welcome her to this new role.”

Carr, who received her bachelor’s in 2009 and her master’s in 2011 from Juilliard, has had a diverse musical career as recitalist, chamber musician, educator, and artistic director. The recipient of numerous international awards, including the Primrose International Viola Competition, Chamber Music America, ProMusicis Foundation, and the Davidson Institute, she was honored in 2018 at the United Nations for her work with refugees around the globe through the Novel Voices Refugee Aid Project. And her performances have taken her across North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Carr is also the founding director of the award-winning Project: Music Heals Us, a nonprofit that brings free chamber music performances and interactive programming to marginalized populations with limited ability to access the arts. In addition to serving on the Juilliard Pre-College faculty, she’s also on the faculties of Bard College Conservatory of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. With her appointment to the JSQ, she also joins the Juilliard college faculty.

The quartet was formed in the 1946-47 academic year by then-president William Schuman and founding first violinist Robert Mann (faculty 1946-2011; JSQ 1946-97) with the twin goals of embracing the classics while championing new work. Carr will be the fourth violist in the quartet’s 75-year history, following Raphael Hillyer (who served from 1946 to 1969), Samuel Rhodes (1969-2013), and Tapping (2013-22). The current members are Areta Zhulla (Pre-College BM ’04; BM ’08, MM ’10, violin), who joined in 2018; Ronald Copes, who joined in 1996; and Astrid Schween (Pre-College ’80; BM ’84, MM ’85, cello), who joined in 2016.

In a joint statement, the quartet members said they were “thrilled to be welcoming Molly” and that she would bring to their work “fantastic collaborative energy, a deeply probing curiosity and a passion for sharing that has marked the members of the quartet through its history.” They added that they “are eager to start this new chapter with her!”

Carr said it is “such an immense privilege to be invited to follow my late mentor and friend Roger Tapping in carrying on the much-revered, decades-long traditions of this historic quartet. Having the opportunity to delve into some of the greatest music in the world on a daily basis with colleagues and friends like Areta, Ron, and Astrid is truly a dream come true.”